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  • Provenance

    Gift of the artist to the present owner

  • Literature

    Patrick Cramer books 149 (contact department for listing of Brigitte Baer and Georges Bloch catalogue raisonné numbers)

  • Catalogue Essay

    La Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, known by the title La Celestina, is a dramatized novel in 21 acts, attributed to Fernando de Rojas, who published it in Burgos, Spain in 1499. Because of its lovely prose dialogue, its well-developed characters, and its striking description of the mores of Spain at the time of the Catholic kings - that is during the transition period between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance - La Celestina is one of the major works in Spanish literature.The etchings done for La Célestine are part of the famous 347 Series. Between March 16 and October 5, 1968, Picasso worked on the plates almost daily, using various techniques and sometimes the same plate.

    The etchings represent the lover and his paramour - often in the company of the intermediary, who is depicted as a little old woman; she makes her first appearance in the series on May 14, in scenes of erotic contemplation and nocturnal abductions. Picasso did not want the text to be printed on the verso of the leaves with etchings - hence the arrangement of the pages is unusual: uncut double leaves with one etching and one page of text alternate with single leaves with two text pages. Patrick Cramer, Pablo Picasso The Illustrated Books, 1983, p. 360.

  • Artist Biography

    Pablo Picasso

    Spanish • 1881 - 1973

    One of the most dominant and influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was a master of endless reinvention. While significantly contributing to the movements of Surrealism, Neoclassicism and Expressionism, he is best known for pioneering the groundbreaking movement of Cubism alongside fellow artist Georges Braque in the 1910s. In his practice, he drew on African and Iberian visual culture as well as the developments in the fast-changing world around him.

    Throughout his long and prolific career, the Spanish-born artist consistently pushed the boundaries of art to new extremes. Picasso's oeuvre is famously characterized by a radical diversity of styles, ranging from his early forays in Cubism to his Classical Period and his later more gestural expressionist work, and a diverse array of media including printmaking, drawing, ceramics and sculpture as well as theater sets and costumes designs. 

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22

La Célestine

1971
The complete bound volume with 66 etchings and five additional drawings in ink, on Richard-de-Bas laid paper watermark La Celestine, with full margins, with text by Fernando de Rojas,
slip case 8 7/8 x 7 5/16 x 1 3/4 in. (22.5 x 18.6 x 4.4 cm)
book 8 5/8 x 7 x 1 5/8 in. (21.9 x 17.8 x 4.1 cm)

three of the drawings signed, dated `le 14.11.72' and inscribed `pour Bill et Bente' in black ink on the slipcover (with a drawing), the book cover (with a drawing) and on the title page (with a drawing and also inscribed `leur ami Picasso'), and two unsigned drawings on the blank front pages, signed in pencil on the justification, typeset 'William E. Hartmann' (one of 18 examples with the name of specific people aside from the edition of 350 and 30 hors commerce in Roman numerals), printed and published by Éditions de l'Atelier Crommelynck, Paris, contained in original slipcover with Richard-de-bas laid paper and parchment with lettering on the spine, book cover with parchment boards and lettering on the front, within parchment-covered slipcase.

Estimate
$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $106,250

Contact Specialist
Kelly Troester
Director Modern Editions
+1 212 940 1221

Cary Leibowitz
Director Contemporary Editions
+1 212 940 1222

General Enquiries
+1 212 940 1220

Evening & Day Editions

New York Auctions 21 April 2015